The commonly used antibiotic cefuroxime makes patients vulnerable to GI infection because it wipes out beneficial gut bacteria..
The New Scientist recounts the experience of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, UK, where 65 patients were infected by clostridium difficile in July last year. The symptoms included diarrhea, stomach cramps and bowel rupture.
The hospital switched to vancomycin for surgical prophylaxis - and the outbreak petered out.
David Jenkins, a clinical microbiologist at Leicester Public Health Laboratory, UK, told the journal that vancomycin was becoming a routine choice for prophylaxis - even though vancomycin-resistant bacteria pose a growing threat.
"The priority should be to reduce antibiotic resistance so that we can still treat the infections that occur, rather than trying to prevent every single one," he told the magazine.
Professor Richard Wise, president of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, said that vancomycin should be a drug of last resort. He said vancomycin should only be used to treat MRSA infection, not clostridium difficile infection.
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com